Broadway Set to Return This September

Kate Stuzin, Managing Editor

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday that Broadway can reopen at 100% capacity starting Sept. 14. Show ticket sales may officially begin today.

The Broadway League plans on releasing their top three previous showrunners: “Hamilton,” “The Lion King,” and “Wicked” this week.  The league plans to sell tickets for about 30 shows this month, with approximately half beginning in September and the rest spread out over the following months. 

Patrons can also expect four new Broadway musicals,“Six,” “Ms. Doubtfire,” “Diana” and “Flying Over the Sunset”, to open this fall. A handful of shows will not return until 2022, most notably the two-part play, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” due to modifications to its length and structure.

The announcement comes with some criticism as Mayor Bill De Blasio said that New York City would reopen at 100% capacity starting July 1. With 41 theaters, Broadway drew crowds of 14.6 million people who spent $1.8 billion on tickets in 2019. On Mar. 12, 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic forced the theaters to close their curtains, and reopening is a far more complicated task than shutting down. 

The Broadway League and several labor unions suggest that Broadway will likely open with fewer than the customary eight shows a week. This translates to lower pay for cast and crew but should not impact ticket prices. 

The League has not yet finalized whether only fully vaccinated patrons can enter theaters. According to New York state budget director Rob Mujica, Broadway plans to set up indoor pilot showings this summer and test capacity levels to prepare for September. Additionally, the state has sent out surveys, and results show that the majority of participants would not feel comfortable sitting next to patrons without knowing their vaccination status.